Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Get Ready to Sweat; Record-Setting Heat Wave to Hit St. Louis Area in Next Seven Days; LOCAL

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Get Ready to Sweat; Record-Setting Heat Wave to Hit St. Louis Area in Next Seven Days; LOCAL

Article excerpt

If the temperature reaches 108 degrees today, as advertised, you have to be at least 58 years old to say you've endured worse in St. Louis.

The high-pressure system that has been burning up Colorado and Kansas is pushing its center through the two-state area today. With soil moisture and humidity already low, the forecast is for a withering jump in temperatures today and Friday.

"The air will heat up in a hurry, like it does in a desert," said Wes Browning of the National Weather Service office in Weldon Spring.

Good analogy, and an ominous one.

Because rainfall already is 5 inches below normal for May and June, conditions are likely to worsen in the coming weeks.

Browning, meteorologist in charge at the local Weather Service office, said the core of high pressure will weaken temporarily after it passes through. But the basic system will prevail, keeping the high temperatures at 104 Friday and above or near 100 degrees through July 4. No break is in sight.

Last year, the temperature didn't reach 100 until July 11. And St. Louis hasn't recorded five consecutive days at or above 100 since 1983.

Local governments have posted heat advisories, prepared cooling centers and urged residents to check on elderly relatives and neighbors.

Summer fun, meanwhile, is being adjusted. In Farmington, Mo., 60 miles south of St. Louis, the city canceled its Fourth of July fireworks show because of dry conditions that already have fed grass fires. Heat also was a factor.

"We felt like it's absolutely irresponsible to have a fireworks display on a large scale with these weather conditions," said city administrator Greg Beavers.

At Quail Creek Golf Club in south St. Louis County, pro shop attendant Charlie Beck said calls for tee times have fallen and some golfers had canceled their rounds. In Highland, Laura Wilken, the aquatics supervisor, said many swimmers abandoned the outdoor pool for the indoor water park on Wednesday, when the temperature hit 98. …

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